University of California, Riverside

Comparative Literature and Languages

Undergraduate Program

Students who pursue a major or minor in the Department of Comparative Literature and Languages are trained in a variety of languages and literatures—including Arabic, Chinese, Classical Greek, English, Filipino, French, German, Italian, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese, Latin, Malaysian, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese—and in linguistics. As students gain expertise in the language (or languages) they have chosen to study, they are also trained in literary and cultural history, and in the interpretation of literary and cultural forms and practices.

Our students receive an education which prepares them to pursue a variety of careers—in education, translation and interpretation, the arts and theater, administration, the law, and others. Students with a degree in Comparative Literature and Languages become journalists, editors, writers, curators, librarians, teachers, and more. Many of our students go on to receive advanced training in areas of interest to them, or continue their studies at the graduate level. Most importantly, our students receive a literary and cultural education, which trains them to become thoughtful readers and writers who can study large, complex bodies of information and concepts, and explain them to peers and colleagues in meaningful ways. This education, and the skills and sensibility it provides, are useful, and perhaps essential, in numerous contexts—in work, in life, in one's relations with others, and in the world writ large.

To prepare students in this way, all of our programs require students to study a language (or more than one language, depending on the student's interests), and to take a variety of courses in literature, culture, history, philosophy, and literary interpretation.  

If you have questions about a particular major or minor, see our list of Program Directors.

If you have questions about enrollment and advising, see our Academic Advisors.      

Alongside these requirements (detailed on the web pages for each major and minor), all students, with the exception of students majoring in linguistics, take the following core courses, designed to introduce students to literary interpretation (CPLT 1) and to literature in a global context (CPLT 2), and to facilitate students' completing a final research project (CPLT 193 & 196).

  • CPLT1: Introduction to Close Reading
  • CPLT2: Reading World Literature
  • CPLT193: Capstone Research Seminar
  • CPLT196: Senior Research Paper (optional)

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General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department Information

Department of Comparative Literature and Languages
2401 Humanities & Social Sciences Bldg.

Tel: (951) 827-1423
Fax: (951) 827-2160
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